Recipe to Eat Like a Local: Catalan Style Cannelloni – Canelons

Posted on December 18, 2016 | By Andre Arriaza

One of the most traditional Christmas recipes in Catalonia are canelons, also known as the Spanish style canelloni, locals usually eat them during boxing day. Traditionally prepared with the leftovers of Christmas´ eve dinner which consists of Escudella and Carn d´Olla, two dishes which are ¨all sort of meats¨ abundant and cooked with potatoes and chickpeas. An aspect that differentiate this Spanish food recipe to the traditional one, mostly known as canelloni. The canelons recipe is eaten by the locals in Barcelona, the fantastic city where we run our food and cultural walks.

Preparation (serves 4-6 people)

Put all the ingredients in a tray, except the foie and the truffle; rub them with salt and pepper; sprinkle olive oil and the cognac. Cover the tray with aluminum foil and put in the oven for 3 hours at 140 C (284 F). Remove from the oven and mince all the ingredients together. Collect the fat and use it to fry the foie. Mix everything.

Canelons recipe ingredients

(photo credit:

Prepare the béchamel by melting butter in a saucepan. Stir in an equal amount of flour and cook the mixture for just under a minute. Stir milk, a little at a time, avoiding lumps to form. Stir the mix constantly bringing it to boil, so it thickens and becomes glossy. Season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Prepare a tray for the canelons. Use oil from the mix to cover the base or just olive oil.

Stuff the canelons with the minced meat and lay them down in the tray.

Add the béchamel sauce on top of all canelons and sprinkle with grated truffle and parmesan cheese.

Place the tray with the canelons into the pre-heated oven (190 C / 375 F) and cook au gratin for 10 minutes, or the time needed for the cheese to melt and become golden brown. Et voila, your delicious canelons recipe is ready.

ready to eat canelons in barcelona

(photo credit:


For stuffing approximately 40-50 canelons (¨large reeds¨)

  • 18 cannelloni wrappers or 3 sheets fresh pasta, cut into 18 5″ × 6″ rectangles (follow cooking instructions as indicated by the brand)
  • 500 gr (18 oz) veal shank
  • 250 gr (9 oz) pork loin
  • 200 gr (7 oz) Iberian bacon
  • 1 organic chicken
  • 100 gr (3.5 oz) foie
  • 2 carrots and 2 tomatoes peeled and cut
  • 4 onions
  • 1 leek
  • 1 garlic head
  • 50 cl cognac
  • Olive oil


  • 70 (2.5 oz) gr of butter
  • 70 gr (2.5 oz) of flour
  • 1 lt of milk
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg
  • Parmesan cheese and truffle (grated)

Recommended wine pairing: Canelons being an intense and complex dish in terms of textures, it requires a red wine with body and tannins that are firm and round. L´Interrogant (DOQ Priorat) from Celler Clos 93 is our choice, we love this wine!.

These days, canelons are also eaten along the year in Catalonia and above recipe can be prepared with fresh meat following the same quantities. The history of the canelons´ spanish food recipe is quite deep and it has been for around 100 years.


The Best of Barcelona Lifestyle

Sign up for special travel tips, discounts and promotions, and get up to date with the best of Barcelona food culture

Sign Up

Read More From Blog

7 Tips: the Ultimate Gastronomic Guide to Pair Wine and Food

Posted on November 4, 2018

Outdoor activities in Barcelona with Kids

Posted on October 18, 2018